Court fines Netcare for illegal kidney transplants

2010-11-09 14:04

Netcare in KwaZulu-Natal has been fined R4 million by the Commercial Crimes Court after it pleaded guilty to charges of illegal kidney transplants at its St Augustine Hospital in Durban.

The SABC reported the hospital faced 100 counts on three main charges, including that the hospital’s staff had illegally acquired kidneys between 2001 and November 2003. It was also charged with performing transplants in which five of the suppliers were minors, and receiving payments for the operations.

The court granted a R3.8 million confiscation order against the company in light of the profit made from the transplants.

The Mercury reported on September 16 that Netcare allegedly made more than R22 million from the operations.

According to the Durban-based paper, Netcare’s CEO, Dr Richard Friedland, was accused of being aware of the illegal transplants and allowing them to continue.

The hospital denied this and issued a statement which read: “Netcare Limited, Netcare KZN and Dr Friedland vigorously deny any wrongdoing whatsoever and intend to defend the charges brought against them.”

The charges relate to more than a 100 operations at the hospital between 2001 and 2003 in which people – mainly Brazilians – were paid as little as R42 000 to donate their kidneys to Israeli patients.

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